New Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu has appointed Arihia Bennett MNZM (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Porou) to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon warmly welcomes Arihia to the position.

“Arihia brings to the role an intimate understanding of our rūnanga, hapū and organisational structures, not to mention a wealth of experience in management and the delivery of social services.”

Arihia Bennett is currently the Kaiārahi/Chief Executive Officer of He Oranga Pounamu (HOP), which is mandated by Ngāi Tahu to organise and integrate health and social services in the Ngāi Tahu rohe. Prior to this she was the regional manager, Te Waipounamu, for Barnardos NZ.

Arihia has also held a number of advisory positions to government, including Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Commissioner, following the 2010 September earthquake. She has held governance roles associated with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, including Ngāi Tahu Development Corporation, where she was a director from 1999 until 2002 and then chair until 2005.

In 2008, Arihia Bennett was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and the community.

While welcoming Arihia, Mark Solomon also thanked outgoing interim CEO Mike Sang for his leadership over the past 18 months, particularly during the tribe’s post-quake recovery period.